Meta tags and the pinnacle part of an internet site

Constructing blocks for website positioning

This submit was initially revealed on Aug. 26, 2015, and was up to date on August 1, 2019.

One key part of each internet web page — each well-optimized internet web page, that’s — is the meta tags. These are the components of the webpage that inform Google and different serps what a web site is named, what it’s about, whether or not search bots can index it, what the key phrases are, the way it ought to look, and even the place it’s situated.

Some meta tags are extra necessary than others, and should you’re not cautious, you’ll be able to waste numerous effort and time making an attempt to fill out tags that actually received’t do your web site any good.

Associated: Newbie’s information to SEO for small enterprise web sites

Fast-start information to meta tags

This text, which displays necessary adjustments in Google’s search algorithms, will let you know necessary issues like:

Let’s get began.

There are three fundamental components to an internet site:

  1. the Head (or header)
  2. the Physique
  3. the Footer

Consider your physique as an internet site. Your head is clearly the header, the footer is your ft and your torso is, effectively, you get the image.

The header and the footer of an internet site are just about the identical on each single web page.

Historically, you’ll put your organization title and emblem within the header, your working hours, handle and telephone quantity within the footer. The physique part of every web page will change relying on what you place in there, however the header and footer will all the time stay the identical.

Take a look at the highest of this web page from GoDaddy. On the very prime is the banner — GoDaddy, Assist, How-To, and many others. That’s the header. In the event you go to one other web page on the GoDaddy weblog, that half will keep precisely the identical.

GoDaddy Blog Page Header Example

Now scroll all the way in which to the underside of that web page. Did you see that blue banner down there, with all of the textual content in it and beneath it? That’s the footer.

GoDaddy Blog Page Footer Example

In the event you go to one other GoDaddy weblog web page, that banner and its info will keep precisely the identical, too.

It’s the physique textual content, the half that you simply’re studying, that may change with each new web page you go to.

The aim of the header and footer is to supply a template for every web page on an internet site. That is so that you don’t must code a header and footer each single time you create a brand new web page.

And for the reason that header and footer are everlasting, it is sensible that you simply stick necessary code like meta tags contained in the header. You may put it within the footer, however that’s a foul thought.

That’s as a result of the search engine bots will solely crawl a lot of an internet web page earlier than they go away once more. The one option to assure that the bots will see this necessary meta code is to place it on the very prime the place Google assumes it will likely be.

So now you recognize the place the meta tags are stored, what do they do precisely?

Associated: 10 methods to enhance Google key phrase rating

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Meta tags are part of your SEO (website positioning).

website positioning is the place you train the major search engines what your web site and all its particular person pages and digital belongings (e.g. photos, movies and paperwork) are about.

For instance, Google, Bing and Yahoo will all know that this web page is about meta tags for web sites and meta tags website positioning, partly due to the headline and the key phrases.

The job of the meta tags is to outline a person internet web page’s material or the web page’s goal key phrase.

Some meta tags are extra necessary than others, however it’s essential all of them align with the web page’s goal key phrase.

For instance, the meta description tag tells us what a selected web page is about. It’s the temporary blurb concerning the web page’s content material and what we will anticipate finding.

As not too long ago as seven years in the past, you would write a killer description that may persuade Google to rank your webpage increased than your competitors’s. You needed to do issues like use your key phrases within the very early a part of the outline — within the first 4 phrases, should you may swing it, irrespective of how dangerous it sounded to human readers — and ensure your key phrase appeared within the title, URL and physique textual content the correct variety of occasions.

If all these issues matched, your internet web page may rank fairly excessive for that key phrase.

After all, we will by no means have good issues on the web, and other people began creating some fairly terrible internet pages that did what Google wished, however folks hated. It bought so dangerous, the web was filling up with all these horrible internet pages that tricked Google, however had been in any other case unreadable and unusable by people.

So Google banned a bunch of generally practices website positioning techniques as a result of these website positioning spammers ruined it for everybody.

Immediately, the perform of the meta description is to get folks to learn your web page.


When your internet web page reveals up in a Google search consequence, the factor persons are going to examine your web page is your meta description. In the event you’ve written a superb one, they’re extra prone to learn your web page. In the event you’ve written a poor one otherwise you didn’t write one in any respect and let Google attempt to make its personal, persons are much less prone to learn your web page within the first place.

This implies your meta description remains to be invaluable, however solely as a result of it entices folks to go to your web site relatively than tricking Google into considering yours is one of the best.

The opposite meta tags have totally different features, telling Google tips on how to behave, what to point out and what your web site is/does/has, however you solely want a couple of of them.

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Listed here are an important meta tags, and a short description of how they work. A few of these tags assist the folks visiting your web site, others assist Google and/or the net browsers resolve tips on how to behave.

Title tag

The title tag is a part of the website positioning trinity. This tag should align fully with the web page’s URL and content material, the opposite legs of the stool. This is likely one of the strongest indicators that informs the major search engines {that a} web page is a couple of specific subject, which immediately impacts key phrase rating.

When the search engine bots go to an internet site, they take a look at all of the pages’ titles in an effort to be taught what every of them are about.

The title is totally different from a web page’s headline. The headline is what folks will see when your web page pops up on a social community like Fb. The title is what the search engine bots see. Simply keep in mind this straightforward mnemonic:

H is for headlines, that are learn by people, T is for titles that are learn by — dammit! By no means thoughts.

In the event you’re curious whether or not it’s best to favor one over the opposite, the reply is not any — they’re each equally necessary. Folks received’t click on on a nonsensical or boring headline, bots received’t perceive intelligent headlines that don’t embrace key phrases. Go forward and use the key phrase in each.

Listed here are some fundamental finest practices for creating an optimized title tag:

  • Use a most of 65 characters (together with areas).
  • The web page’s goal key phrase ought to be firstly.
  • Every web page should have one title tag.
  • Every title tag have to be distinctive (by no means use the identical title tag on different pages).
  • Branding all the time seems on the finish of the title tag.
  • Separate branding with a hyphen or a | pipe (that’s the image above the key).
  • If there’s room, make sure to put your organization title or your individual title within the title tag.

Title Meta Tag Example GoDaddy Email Marketing

A person sees the title tag on the search engine outcomes web page (SERP). The person won’t see this content material on the internet web page itself. It’s hidden so solely the bots can see it.

Professional tip: In the event you use WordPress as your content material administration system, I strongly advocate you employ the Yoast website positioning plugin. It is going to make it easier to mechanically create your title tags, which you’ll regulate by yourself. It additionally provides you a spot to write down your meta description tag. Talking of which …

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Meta description tag

The meta description tag not directly impacts key phrase rating and significantly influences SERP click-through charge, however not for the explanations you may assume.

Seven or eight years in the past, your meta description tag may idiot Google into rating you increased should you had been intelligent — and dishonest and underhanded — about the way you wrote it.

However Google bought sensible, and so they not take into account meta descriptions when figuring out web page rank. The place it does come into play helps different folks know what your web page is about.

In the event you write a boring meta description, otherwise you don’t use the key phrases in your description, and somebody sees it on a search engine outcomes web page, they are going to be much less inclined to click on by means of to your web page. And Google truly does take click-through charges into consideration.

The extra folks click on by means of to your web page on their SERPs, the higher your web page will carry out. The much less they click on, the more severe it can carry out.

So, when you have a foul meta description, your web page could have a more durable time catching folks’s consideration. And should you don’t write one in any respect, Google will choose its personal textual content out of your web page in what it hopes is an efficient sufficient description of the content material. However you know the way chilly and un-artful these search bots may be. Do you actually need to belief them to make this choice?

Listed here are some fundamental guidelines to observe when writing a meta description tag:

  • By no means exceed 150 characters, together with areas. In the event you use Yoast website positioning to write down your meta description, it can let you know whether or not you’ve gone over that restrict.
  • Put the web page’s goal key phrase close to the start of this tag.
  • Every web page should have one meta description tag.
  • Every meta description tag have to be distinctive (by no means use the identical description on different pages).
  • Use call-to-action language that may persuade the person to click on in your search consequence.

Description Meta Tag Example GoDaddy Email Marketing

Customers will see this snippet on the SERP, and it’ll not be seen in your internet web page.

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Meta robots tag

Use meta robots tags with warning! You really want to know tips on how to correctly deploy this tag, and you have to clearly perceive the assorted directives of this tag. In the event you don’t, go away it alone.

The meta robots tag tells search engine bots tips on how to behave in your web site — which areas they’ll go to and document, which items of content material they’ll keep away from or ignore, gown code, curfew, issues like that.

However largely, it’s the primary two issues: what to go to and document, what to keep away from and ignore.

Among the robots tag instructions instruct the major search engines to index and observe a web page and a few inform serps to, effectively, not index and observe it. As you might need guessed, these are the NOINDEX and NOFOLLOW tags.

In the event you use both or each of those tags, you’ll obtain zero natural search engine referrals. These pages might be fully ignored and unseen by the search engine bots.

The three major robotic tags are:


The primary line tells the engines to not embrace that web page within the index, however to observe all of the hyperlinks on that web page.

The second line tells the engines to index the web page, however to not observe the hyperlinks on the web page that time to different pages.

The ultimate line of directions tells the engines to disregard the web page and all of the hyperlinks on the web page. That successfully renders the web page ineffective for natural referral visitors. You’ll use one among these strains on a selected web page, not all three on the similar time.

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Open Graph tags

Open Graph Tags (OG Tags) are used for crafting personalized share messaging on some social community platforms.

Mainly, if you wish to share info from a selected internet web page on a unique social community like Fb or Twitter, you want these tags.

They’ll inform these networks what info to show everytime you share a hyperlink out of your web site.

For instance, when you have ever pasted a hyperlink from a information story in a Fb or Twitter standing replace, and it populated the headline and a photograph, that’s a social graph. And it’s the OG tags that advised the community how to try this.

Listed here are the everyday OG tags used on an internet site:

  • meta property=”og:title”
  • meta property=”og:description”
  • meta property=”og:sort”
  • meta property=”og:url”
  • meta property=”og:picture”
  • meta property=”og:site_name”

These tags don’t impression rating immediately. Nevertheless, research have proven the highest rating pages for aggressive key phrases are inclined to have essentially the most share totals from Twitter, Fb and different networks. (In the event you’re nonetheless unsure what you want, ask your internet designer.)

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Meta key phrase tag

What can I say? Meta key phrase tags actually serve no constructive objective for U.S.-based web sites.

Google doesn’t give this tag any weight, but when abused it could actually result in a penalty.

Folks used to abuse this specific tag by stuffing it with key phrases. You would see a pair dozen totally different variations on a single key phrase — athletic footwear, ladies’s athletic footwear, males’s athletic footwear, kids’s athletic footwear, and many others. and many others. and many others. — within the hopes that somebody someplace may seek for that one area of interest key phrase — mismatched corrective orthopedic athletic footwear.

These soiled rotten spammers ruined it for everybody, and, because of this, nobody can profit from meta key phrase tags now.

Rumor has it, nevertheless, that Bing depends on the meta key phrase tag if two pages are tied after Bing has analyzed the pages in opposition to 200-plus different rating components. Because it actually supplies zero profit, however it could actually doubtlessly hurt your web site, there isn’t a cause to make use of this tag in any respect.

Associated: The best way to use Bing Webmaster Instruments to enhance your web site’s website positioning

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Different HTML meta tags

There are dozens of different meta tags that can be utilized within the head part of an internet site. There are tags for the topic of the web page, the geographic location of the web page/your small business, the proprietor, your electronic mail handle, the date and so forth.

Nevertheless, I might not use them.

Each line of code impacts web page load pace, and also you need your internet pages to load as quick as potential.

A quicker loading web page is tremendous necessary for bettering your website positioning.


Since these different tags don’t assist with website positioning and may negatively impression web page load pace, it’s best to keep away from utilizing them.

There may be one exception, nevertheless: the Viewport tag. In line with Moz:

“On this cell world, you need to be specifying the viewport. In the event you don’t, you run the danger of getting a poor cell expertise.”

The Google PageSpeed Insights Software will let you know extra about it. The usual tag is: <meta title=viewport content material=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>

In the event you’re doing your individual website positioning, counting on Yoast website positioning to write down your description and title tag, that’s high-quality. However when you have no thought of what you’re doing, go away this tag to your designer or developer. Allow them to let you know what to do with it, or higher but, allow them to do it themselves.

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Conclusion and subsequent steps

Meta tags are an necessary a part of each web site, however they don’t have the impression they did only a few brief years in the past. However that doesn’t imply it’s best to ignore them. If used accurately, your website positioning meta tags can nonetheless affect your web page’s search rank and on-line efficiency.

Do you need to know extra about website positioning and tips on how to use the totally different meta tags? Or, do you need to go away the website positioning and meta tags to the consultants?

If it’s the latter, attain out to the professionals at GoDaddy website positioning Companies to get your web site the eye it deserves. Be taught how one can work much less and rank increased.

This text consists of content material initially revealed on the GoDaddy weblog by Garth O’Brien.

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